Taste: What’s Going On – Live At The Isle of Wight Festival 1970

Rory Gallagher’s Taste sensations live.

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Taste had split minutes before taking to the stage for this astonishing performance. Framed by a potted history showing how mainman Rory Gallagher’s visionary genius turned the Irish three-piece into world beaters, the live footage of the band playing to 600,000 people totally vindicates their short-lived legend.

Director Murray Lerner (among a cast of interviewees including Taste’s drummer John Wilson, plus Bob Geldof and The Edge) unwittingly captured the perfect subject to show “the clash between the commercialism of the industry and the idealism of the music”.

Though torn apart by mismanagement, Richard McCracken, John Wilson and Rory Gallagher hold fast to the idealism that had fired their career. Gallagher, of course, stars in the brilliant and thrilling duels to the death and envelope-pushing improvisations, particularly Sugar Mama and the jaw-dropping breakdown of Catfish Blues.

Capturing a guitarist for the ages and a standalone band, with extras culled from Taste’s incendiary Beat Club performances, this is a strictly awesome release.

Classic Rock 215: Stuff

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Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.